Yukio watched his students return to the remains of their dorms.

The recent events had taken a toll on everyone and everything. Of course, with Satan going on a rampage, sending his demons to terrorise the academy town, a spectacular battle between the brothers and the Gehenna gate, some stuff was bound to get smashed. But nobody had anticipated the actual damages. It would take weeks, if not months to rebuild the academy, much more even to fix the town.

Even with Mephisto's magic abilities. The demon was limited to his physical body after all and snipping a whole town back to normal would be too much, even for him. So the principal would be busy fixing buildings one by one. With no room to teach in, this too meant a couple of free days for the students.

Yukio glanced at the one student who didn't go with the others. His brother was, right now, leaning heavily on him. The fight had cost Rin more than the half-demon let on. First being tortured, then being shot, finally facing the gate together with Yukio (neither had any recollection on how they'd done it, only changing somehow and then both of them had woken on the ground with the gate gone), Yukio was amazed his brother could even stand. By the looks of it, this wouldn't last forever though. Earlier, the elder had been able to put up an act, feigning he wasn't injured at all, even tricking the usually perceptive Konekomaru into believing him (which in turn relieved the others, but when Bon had grabbed Rin, Yukio had almost feared for his brother's life).

But now, with everyone and the need to show off gone, it seemed all strength was leaving Rin as well. He looked ready to drop.

"Come on, Nii-san. Let's get you to bed.."

"N..ot tired..", Rin mumbled, eyes drooping. Yukio snorted and strengthened his grip on the other before stepping forwards. This was just as well, since the moment he started moving, he noticed how his older twin sacked against him, eyes closed, breath ragged. Both worry and guilt gnawed on Yukio's conscience as he all but dragged his ailing brother towards the next undestroyed door, opened it with one of his special keys and stepped right into their room.

Yukio only took a second to appreciate the fact their dorms had been spared total destruction before he gently lowered the unconscious form of his brother onto the elder's bed and only then went to fetch his medical equipment. That silver bullet needed to be taken out, right now. Usually, they were designed to kill full-fledged demons. The fact Rin hadn't died right there was probably only thanks to the fact he (and Yukio) weren't proper demons but only half-breeds. Also, if Rin had used his flames at that moment, it too might've ended ugly. Luckily he hadn't and so Yukio had high hopes for his Nii-san. What was lead to the usual human was silver (even more the kind of blessed silver his bullets consisted of) to anyone with just a drop of demonic blood. Not the bleeding would be the cause of death, but a poisoning. He wouldn't let it get to that though. What did he have a doctor meister for if he couldn't save his only family!?

"You can't die on me now", Yukio said, ignoring the fact the other didn't hear his words. They weren't meant to be heard anyway; more like an attempt at calming himself. Give him some courage. And maybe Rin did hear, somewhere in his subconscious state, and gain some strength from it.

"Not after all we've gone through..", the doctor continued, pulling up the torn and stained shirt of his brother before deciding to just cut it off. It was beyond saving anyway. Throwing the rags aside, he proceeded to check the wounds on his twin's body.

He felt like choking.

It wasn't the blood gushing freely from the shot wound though (after all, he'd gotten used to treating this careless brother of his since they were kids). What caused his stomach's revolt was the stench of necrotizing flesh.

While a few tender blue flames tried their best to heal the wound around the bullet, the skin had turned a sickly violet. Who knew how the surrounding tissue was. If bad came to worse, even the organs could be damaged. Since the bullet had been fired from a really close range, chances were it was stuck close enough to the stomach or kidneys to prove life-threatening. Yukio thought all this while he grabbed a set of forceps and started digging for the silver projectile. Even while out cold, Rin squirmed and groaned under the intense pain and Yukio only felt more guilt for hurting him as he held him down with his free hand. When he finally got ahold of the dreadful object and had wrenched it from the surrounding flesh's irony grip, he too felt drained beyond belief, but his job wasn't done yet, so he queued the act of dropping like a stone to later, proceeded to cut away dead tissue, disinfect the wound and pack it tightly in gauze, finally bandaged everything so it'd be stable.

By now, both of them were wheezing and Yukio slumped against the next wall, trying his best to take deep breaths and failing. He shook with exhaustion and fear, his head hurting from the intense stress his body was going through. For a moment he contemplated dragging himself over to his bed, then decided he wouldn't make it there and instead eyed his brother's. There was - as was standard - a second level above and a ladder leading up. He could make it there, he supposed, and stood on shaky legs, walked over and climbed the ladder.

When he reached the upper cot and slumped into the silky sheets, he was already asleep.


Only subjective seconds later, he was waken by a noise below him.

He knew of course he at least had gotten a few hours of sleep, since the sun had long since set and their room was in complete darkness. Nonetheless he was tempted to curse when he heard his brother moan softly. This went by quickly though, as he climbed down the ladder and put a hand to his harshly breathing brother's forehead. He was burning up. Of course he would get a fever.

Another pang of guilt washed over Yukio. He knew he'd gotten all of the bullet out, the evidence laying neatly on the platter he'd put it on. Still chances were some of the silver had split off on impact and still irritated the wound. He couldn't get these out. Rin's fever was a sign his body was fighting against the foreign material (and possibly an upstarting local infection), so unless it got lifethreatening high, lowering it would only cause further damage.

Unable to help, Yukio sat on the cot's edge, watching the elder with a sigh.

Rin wouldn't die. As long as the doctor meister told himself that, he could subdue the fear lurking in the back of his head. Still, his brother wouldn't be in this state, if it wasn't for Yukio. Instead of fighting Satan, Rin had kept calling out for him. It had looked good, Yukio had even regained some control over his body, then Satan had gone and shot Rin. No, not Satan, Yukio corrected himself with a grim smile. He had let him do this, so it was his fault as well. For a moment, he had been paralysed with fear, mentally. Satan being the devil he is, had used this fear to his advantage.

Had the bullet hit Rin just a bit higher, he wouldn't even be gasping for air. You didn't take a blessed bullet to the heart and lived. Especially not if you were..

Half-demon..

Yukio bit on his lower-lip. How would the others take it? Now even their sensei wasn't human. It had taken almost half a year for Rin to be accepted into the class. If they found out he too had inherited Satan's flame, what would happen? Would he get.. fired? Bitter irony. If he kept his job, would everyone be afraid of him?

After all, he hadn't saved their hides with his flames, multiple times and utterly reliably. His power might easily get out of control any time. He didn't know their extend, couldn't even remotely fathom what he was capable of now. If he accidently scorched someone, he'd get executed quicker than he'd know it.

Could he take that risk?

Moreover, should he even consider? The answer was plain as day; teaching was out of question. But.. what about Rin? If he left, his brother would be all alone. Of course there were Konekomaru-kun, Shima-kun, Shiemi-kun.. still..

"Yu..kio..", said teacher heard his brother wheeze. He pushed his bitter thoughts aside and leaned in to hear better.

"Rin, are you awake?"

".. you are.. an awful.. little.. brother..", Rin only whispered, before another painful looking wince rocked his body. Yukio frowned. Obviously Rin wasn't conscious, or, at the very least, not coherent. Still the words struck some cords in the younger brother. He was, wasn't he? He'd put Rin through all the trouble all over again. It'd remind everyone he was different - they were different. Would the others become afraid again? Would they fear him too? Again he thought how much better it would be if Shura took his place. The exorcists-in-training would be a lot better off, even given her brute training methods.

"Wrong..", Rin suddenly said, his eyes open just a slit, enough to reflect the incoming moonlight. His breathing had somewhat evened and he seemed a little more conscious than before. Yukio just stared open mouthed. Had he said that thought aloud?

Rin smiled, but his usual smirk had turned into a pained mask as he sat up, hissing all the way, catching his breath as he was upright.

"You are wrong.. little.. brother..", he panted, holding his injured side. Yukio eyed the hand and looked for any change in color (or, more like, darker contrasts) which would've betrayed a ripped wound and further bleeding, but nothing happened. So he looked back at the other's eyes, trying to keep it up, turning away after a few seconds though.

"How did you..", Yukio finally said, after several seconds had passed.

"Must be.. because you too now have the flame.. Maybe it's.. a demon thing."

"About that..", Yukio began but Rin shook his head.

"Stop worrying .. this much.."

"But..!"

"It'll be alright.. Take it from me.. I know this stuff."

"Rin.."

"You didn't see.. fear in their eyes.. earlier, did you?"

"Not really, no.."

"Why would they suddenly start to.." Here Rin hissed sharply as he flinched and sunk back into a laying position, his breath ragged as he seemingly tried to get it back under control. Yukio snorted.

"Let's try this again when you're not dying."

"I'm not..", Rin growled first, then held his side, whimpering, as Yukio only shook his head.

"Try to rest. If you want, I can give you painkillers."

"No.. need.."

"Alright then. I will be nearby if you change your mind"

With that, Yukio went back to the upper cot and crawled under the sheets. He heard Rin mumble something about disrespecting your older brother and a few more colorful curses, then silence engulfed him. And so did sleep, once again.